Tag Archives: Rape

Free Sowing

Free Sowing.  It’s a gardening term that my therapist taught me as she gifted me some parsley, basil, and chia seeds.  It means seeds that do not require much tending to grow.

The last year and a half, I have required so much tending and care, that I am happy to be at my free sown phase.  I have happy days.  I have real moments when the dark foggy abyss abates, and I feel the sunlight on my face.  Those moments are longer and longer.  Words cannot adequately give gratitude to how that feels.

The pivotal moment for me occurred when I saw my friend on the street and presented with the opportunity to tell him forgave him. I reiterated I knew his daddy caused him to do the things he did to me.  Something happened that day, he told me that he was wrong, relating also, his father often told him to do things he should not have done.  I was no longer the only one saying these things happened.  I  no longer doubted my memories.  A tender mercy that I prayed for, answered very directly.  My husband witnessed his confession as he sat silently in the car beside me.

Since our conversation, surprisingly, days passed without a thought of the abuse or my abusers.  The long-awaited mental reprieve granted.  Not to spread all sunshine and roses, some days are still hard, but many more happy days of light than before.

What of my alters?

They still remain vigilent.  I am learning to live with them and they me.

Gidget fulfills her job as protector, and gets quite upset if I do not let her do her job.  She speaks up in situations that I should speak up and don’t or won’t.   She also loves to laugh and play jokes.  A few weeks back my husband and I went on a date.  Gidget came out.  I had shrimp on my plate.  When she allowed me to come back there were green beans in a smiley face with one shrimp as a IMG_2272nose staring at me.  Apparently she had told Mother she was not going to let me eat all the food at the restaurant.  She really likes Ole Times, and shrimp.

Squirt, or Little Shanna, her feelings are so tender.  She has been happier.  She watched Curious George a couple of times.  Mother said she gave her a play- by-play of what George was doing.  She still has some of her fears, but she is feeling safer.

Adrian.  I do not know what to say about Adrian.  Mother can talk to her and get through to her.  She does not like me, AT ALL.  She is very angry.  Though relatively quiet the last few weeks, she still makes part our “family”.

I suppose the dream of being “normal” – alter free- when I started to feel better, isn’t going to happen.  They are my normal.  Learning to live with them and accepting this part of my life is key.

 

 

 

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Nature’s First Green Is Gold

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight…”

The first and the last words of The Outsiders, a movie that quickly became one of my favorite a pre-teen. I do know not know what drew me into the story. It could have been the adorable and quite handsome young Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, and Tom Cruise. It was more than bubbling hormones though. I not only loved the movie, I loved the book.

In the eighth grade when required to do a report on the book of our choice, I chose The Outsiders. Honestly, I think I related to them somehow. Ponyboy and Johnny the tightest of friendships, even to laying to Johnny laying down his life. Each of the boys in the story carried trait I could relate to.

Not understood. Angry. Funny. Desire to be loved. Together with friends, but still outsiders.

When I presented my oral report, I began by quoting Alfred R. Ferguson’s poem that Johnny loved so well.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

It is ironic to me now that I quoted the poem. Not really understanding what the words meant, though Johnny explained them to Pony in a letter.

The irony lies in the loss of my innocent childhood. It was gold to me. Beautiful, fun, exciting, perfect, innocent, but one event remembered has marred the golden beauty of my innocence. I do not know if my words capture the feeling and the meaning I am trying to convey and the relationship I feel to the poem. I just thought it interesting how it unknowingly personified my life.

I need to apologize for my lack of posts the last couple of days. I will sit down and start a post and something will distract me, and it is almost like “SQUIRREL” and I am mentally and/or physically gone! I am so easily distracted and completely lose the train and the track the train of thought was on. I hope to do better, but I cannot make promises. I know my brain, and it does not like to cooperate these days.

With that said, I am extremely sleepy. I think I might take a nap. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday. Thank you for reading my blog!

~Hope

P.S. This is a picture of a male red cardinal on a red bud tree outside my parents home yesterday. Isn’t he gorgeous?
Cardinal

Thursdays Make Me Nervous

Ever since my wreck afew weeks ago, Thursdays make me nervous. When I am nervous and anxious I have to work extra hard to not switch, which makes me more nervous and anxious. Today I have an appointment that requires me to travel the road where I had my first flashback. I know many of you are thinking let it go, PTSD is not like that, you cannot. You live and relive, constantly. I am physically hurting and in emotional torment.

This afternoon I meet with my counselor. One of the things that I want to discuss with her is lately my emotions get so intense, but then if I want to express what is in my mind it is like someone takes a curtain and pulls it infront of my thoughts, and there is nothing there but the emotion.

I made my Mother a promise last week that I would not look up my symptoms on the internet, I have kept that promise. I just keep forgetting to ask my counselor about this. It has happened in therapy several times.

Gratefully, I just received the news that the first appointment was cancelled. I am already a nervous mess. I am going to turn on the TV and try to find something that I can get insterested in.

Not Too Difficult To Negotiate With A Tired Husband, or When You Mention Bread

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My husband is exhausted.  He has been working extra hard at his job as a government contractor with a project going on there, and then working a side job for two or three hours every night.  When I mentioned my idea he as pretty happy.  

Honestly I think he turned everything off when I said I would cook bread tomorrow for ham sandwiches and a picnic Saturday as we go to the Island.  Give that man my bread, and he is in heaven.   It is an Amish recipe that I learned with I worked at a Mennonite bakery here in town when I first graduated high school.  

He is going to talk to his pal and see what he thinks.  Looks like they will explore Savannah tomorrow while my hubs is at work.  Then my suggestion is that they head down to Brunswick to find a cheaper room for Friday night.  We can then head down Saturday Morning and spend some time with them, before they road trip it out.

This couple is living the life of Riley right now.  They sold their house, other vehicles, both quit their jobs, and now are exploring the country.  They do not have children at home.  They are in their early 40’s.  Living their dreams now.  Both lost their parents relatively young, and I suppose that could be part of this.  Doing it now, while they can, and enjoy it. They also wanted to live off the grid for a while.  Funny.  I admire them, and think they are absolutely nutters in the same breath.  

I have too much, I do not know…aside from BILLS, I have too much…hmmm, connection to home to and I do not know the word I am looking for to do it.  Not to mention I am a wimp too.  I have seen how the hubs drives when he is tired.  No, but seriously, being that far away from everything and everyone that I hold dear, except my hubs, our car, and a few clothes.  I cannot image it.  We would need a train.  One car for us and our dogs, one for my parents, one for my sister, and one for my other sister and her family.  I do not say my brother because I do not think he would ever come, and he can fend for himself.  I can’t imagine life without him, but he would get to us if we needed him.  My sisters, though they live several cities away from me now, if I were going to travel, really travel, I would need them close.  My family grounds me.  

Changing gears for a moment, through all of this PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety my family has been constant.  Though my mind plays games that they would go away, the reality is they will never leave me, nor I them.  We are like those train cars.  So, I suppose somewhere on the tracks, my little brother is going to meet up with us occasionally like he does really, check in let us know in his own special way how much he really does love and care for us, then boogey on along.  The railway connects us.  We are an eternal family.  I am so blessed.  I love my family so much, I cannot express that enough.  Sometimes it is hard to express through the other emotions, and I come off as selfish.  I really do not mean to, I am fighting so hard to come back.  I hope you see me.  I am coming.  

Okay, I just read the title of this post.  Did I mention something I also tend to do is ramble when I am exhausted.  Free flow writing I suppose.  You get to see who I REALLY am.  From talking about the friends in the area to my family the train.  I have not completely lost it, I promise.

Life is interesting.  This last week I have felt things are starting to seem clearer.  I cannot explain it.  Imagine going to river and dipping up water in a glass and scrapping the bottom as you do.  When you bring it up, all you can see it the mud, muck, grass, leaves, debris, and whatever floating around.  While you are working through things you are never holding the glass completely still, so it is staying stirred up.  Some items you can remove like a floating piece of grass, those are easier, but they still require you to work to remove them so they do not catch your eye every time you look at your glass.  Other items, are much more difficult to work on, they are obscured by the other items in their way, your hand cannot quite reach it, you are afraid you will break your glass, whatever the reason.  They are just harder.  You have to work harder.  This is your glass, no one else’s.  You have to take your time.  Others may not even see the things that you can see in the glass, often times they do not because you do not want them to, you protect it, or sometimes they do not want to.  Either way that is okay.  It is your glass.  This is your time to clean it.  For me, as I have taken some of the larger stone that were at the bottom of the glass out this week, examined them and continue to work with them outside my glass, I realize that I am not disturbing the water in my glass as much.  Some of those small minute particles that were making the water so unclear, is settling and I can see much clearer.  I still have a long way to go before the water is pure, but to be able to see through something that was so murky just a week ago, makes me so grateful, so very, very grateful.

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Songs of the Heart Sunday: For can a woman forget her sucking child..

This is an essay I wrote for an Institute class several years ago.
I wanted to share it with you, in the hopes that it might help anyone
that is struggling with the trials this life has to offer.
It is truly my testimony of our Father in Heaven and the love He
freely gives to each of us.

“For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have
compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will
not forget thee, O house of Israel.” 1 Nephi Chapter 21 verse 15.
During the past summer months, this scripture’s meaning enlarged my
life. The experience I cannot relate for, the deep spiritual nature
of it, but through it, I learned the greatest lesson a daughter
could learn. My Father in Heaven loves me, and He knows each step I
take. He, as a loving parent, allowed me to learn this lesson the
hard way. You see, I reached a point in my life that though I praised
my Father in Heaven with voice, the internal person drifted in to waters
occupied by the Grand Spiritual Crocodile. I only allowed one toe
dabble with an impure thought here, and a word in anger there, but
once my toe touched the water, he grabbed me. I fell. The fall
hurt, the most excruciating pain. Not quite the intensity Adam must have felt
knowing, his unworthiness to be in the continued presence of Father,
but my own personal detachment from Father. I chose to walk away. I
felt lost, the testimony that once sustained me, ceased to exist. The
comfort I felt I merited, He denied, or such I assumed. I tried to
depend on my own strength, but my strength failed me. For as a wound
from a crocodile will make you bleed and lose life blood, a wound from
Satan if not tended by the Great Physician, will allow your spiritual
blood drain, therefore a permanent fall into Satan’s realm.

I drifted farther and farther away, and no one around me knew it,
because I always portrayed myself as spiritual. What I failed to
realize was Satan tried to fulfill prophesy with me, by “gently leading me
down to hell.” In losing my faith and testimony, I felt like I also
lost myself, my identity. The Hope who existed only a few
months before, could be found nowhere. I prayed, but not in faith
that God would hear me, but to say I had prayed. I read my Patriarchal
blessing, but with my heart hard, I felt like He betrayed me.

One night after realizing, if I did not rediscover myself and faith,
Satan would be victorious over me, I knelt and prayed. I prayed with
the hope that Father would hear me, and send me comfort and peace and
take away the anger. As I prayed vocally, relating the desires of my
heart to my Heavenly Father, I felt peace, but the questions remained
unanswered. I resolved myself to remain kneeling until I understood
the reason, why I had to experience this. While kneeling, floods of
memories came. I recalled my lessons in Relief Society when I felt
the Spirit and I spoke the words of my Father in Heaven. I recollected
my experiences in the temple, the words of my Patriarchal blessing
(one particular phrase), and then the question why? Why if He loved
me so much did He allow me to go through this grievous experience that
almost cost me my testimony? Then they came, the words from a
blessing I received almost exactly a year before, “Hope, you are one
of the Noble and Great Ones who will be called upon to endure many
trials…” I do not recall the whole phrase but I understood, and
thanked my Father in Heaven for reaching out to me when I needed him.

He knew the moment I could no longer bear the burden upon my back,
and He allowed me to go to that point, before He reminded me that He
listened. Not only did He listen to the words in my most recent
prayers, but the words of the prayers I had uttered, though not in
complete faith. Father lovingly extended His arms wide to me, but I
had to walk into them. He reminded me of many wonderful things, that
night, the greatest thing being, my Older Brother, Jesus Christ, and
His atoning sacrifice. At one point even He felt alone asking if He
must endure and yet, He succeeded coming face to face with Satan, and
He didn’t falter, experiencing excruciating pain and anguish to the
point of bleeding from every pore and yet not a murmuring word. And
then to my mind the words of the Prophet, “Art thou greater than He?”

The Godhead, each individual member, takes an active interest in our
well-being. They love us, and work as a team to ensure our happiness
and joy. “Adam fell that men might be, men are that [we] might have
joy.” I believe part of our own personal plans of happiness includes
a fall. For we must experience opposition in all things, to truly
feel the joy that comes after a complete repentance.

All in all, it is my belief that the scripture in 1 Nephi 21, details repentance.
Father in Heaven will not forget us, but He also knowing the minute
details of His kingdom, cannot run after us when we turn away from
Him. He provided us with the freedom to choose, “liberty and eternal
life…or to choose captivity and death.” The beauty comes from the
gift He furnished through Christ, repentance. When trials come and
our flesh weakens causing us to momentarily opt captivity, Father
prepared from the foundation of the world the way for us the erase the
mistake and return again to Him. He brought us to this existence for
the opportunity to prove ourselves and our love for Him.
Sister Mary Ellen Edmunds wrote a book entitled, Love is a Verb and
how correct she is. Acting on the feelings within, and turning to the source
of eternal life and happiness, insures joy beyond imagination.

We should not pray not to have trial, but rather for the wisdom to learn
from our trials. Wonderful opportunities and blessings awaken in the
hours of trial, faith can be nurtured, love expanded, eternal perspective
broadened if we listen without murmur and work without grudge.
We do not give our Heavenly Father credit when we lack the faith in
His wisdom. He will not give us more than we can handle.
“And the truth shall make you free.” I find freedom in this truth.

My testimony is this. We act out the story of the prodigal son
every day, and every day our Father willingly takes us into His loving
arms welcoming us back. He loves us, flaws and strengths. He loves us
so much that He offered our Older Brother as a sacrifice for times that
we do stray. I love Him for that. It saddens me to know that I
caused much of His pain and anguish, but oh what joy I find in the
knowledge that He loved me enough to do it.

Having experienced such a significant change in myself over the past
months, I want to share the joy I feel. Doctrine and Covenants 18 has
new meaning to me, “and if it so be that ye should labor all of your
days and bring but one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with
him in the kingdom of my Father.” That soul is me, the “many
souls” spoken of in the next verses include those that I may help to
come unto Christ. I carry much gratitude in my heart for a Father
who loves me enough to send righteous men and women, past and present, to aid
me on my journey back home. I am eternally grateful for His
Priesthood Power upon the earth today. I know when men uphold their
sacred calling, they speak the words of God and act in His name. We
can listen to them and hear our Father’s voice.

I am thankful for the Book of Mormon and the Holy Bible, and new meaning they bring to
my life each day I sup from their pages. When I learn and practice the
principles taught within, I experience miraculous joy. Now I conclude
my humble testimony in the name of He who made joy possible, my Older
Brother, my Lord, my Savior, my Eternal Friend, Jesus Christ, Amen.

____

As I mentioned I wrote this several years ago, almost 20 when I think about it. Reading it now, it has even deeper meaning. The Atonement has deeper meaning.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ not only covered my sins if I would repent, but also during His Atonement, in a way that I cannot fathom or imagine, He suffered the feelings that I am enduring right now as I am walking my journey of healing from abuse. I might meet others along my path that can empathize to a point, but my Savior truly understands what I am feeling even when I cannot find the words to describe the emotions, because He suffered them too. I find comfort in that, not that He went through anything of the sort, but because He willingly experienced every emotion to the deepest depth that anyone could suffer so He could succor us in the midst of our afflictions and infirmities. I am so grateful of the love that He has for me. I am so so thankful that I can call Him my Savior, my Brother, my Lord, my God, my Friend, my Healer…and know that He walks this familiar road beside me.

***Trigger Warning*** When Did I Lose Myself

Imagining myself writing a post even remotely similar to the one about to come from my fingers seems to be like imagining living someone else’s life or at the very least talking about their life. I have debated within myself the last two days whether or not I should blog about this experience, simply because the intimate nature of it. Today in therapy we talked about my blog, about how sad I get when my numbers are down, but then I reminded myself of that the reason I began a blog was to help myself and to help others on their journey to healing from remembering repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse.

As I thought I recalled the story of a little boy walking along the sea-shore after a storm. Hundreds and hundreds of starfish had been washed ashore during the destructive storm. The little boy was going along throwing starfish back into the water when someone came along and made a comment trying to discourage him from throwing them back. The comment was something to the order of “You cannot save all of the them, I do not know why you are even trying.” The child picked up another starfish, showed his antagonist and said, “You are right, but I can save this one.”

The experience I am about to share might be read by one person who like me feels alone and completely messed up. It might help that one person realize that they are not alone in the way they are reacting.

That is one of my biggest challenges. This is all new territory and though my abuse happened 34 years ago, remembering and living it now, dealing with it now creates completely uncharted hazardous waters in my life. New emotions and suppressed emotions experienced daily.

***Trigger Warning***

Since we married 8 years ago, and until recently, my husband and I have been very intimate. I had some issues after my hysterectomy, but I when were together I enjoyed it. Passion has not been a real issue we faced. There were times as in all marriages that you are not in the mood, but passion and making love remained relatively consistent. I guess you would say we had a healthy sex-life.

I remembered my abuse on May 2 of this year. In remembering my rape, I lost my sexual self, instead became an afraid 5-year-old child anytime my husband touched me in a remotely intimate way. If he kissed me and I felt his tongue, I would cry, feeling betrayed. He patiently understood or atleast tried to.

We have tried different methods of touch to get me comfortable with us again. I tell myself, as my therapist recommended, “This is my husband and my lover. It is okay to be with him.”

I have reach over and tried to touch “him” and was paralyzed in fear and sobbed in his arms. My inner child screaming at me while I tried to touch him that I was not being fair to her. Her voice very cruel and distracting.

Most nights he holds me in his arms, protecting me as I go to sleep. He gently rubs my back comforting me until I sleep.

A few nights ago I dreamt about being with him as husband and wife. I was so happy when I woke up, sad that he had to go to work. When he came home I explained to him how things could be done. It would not be passionate, no touching and fondling except what I allowed and directed. Very contained very ruled, very PG for sex between husband and wife, especially in our life.

When his rhythm started I was so scared. I kept my eyes tightly closed. I wanted him to finish. He noticed my tears and stopped. I wanted him to be happy, but at the same time I wanted to run. I wanted to get away. “She” felt like I was letting him rape “her”. I could not look at him when it was over. I stayed in the bathroom for a while. I felt dirty like I had done something wrong. I was sick to my stomach and sobbing. When I finally composed myself I came back to bed and we talked. Some of these things I only verbalize to him as I read this before I post it, the shame that I felt like I could not tell him. Not because anything he did, because what I felt.

I was shaking inside and I know he heard it in my voice. He wished that I would have told him when it started to scare me. It is such a difficult thing when you love your spouse and want them to be fulfilled, but and the same time you are terrified.

He had not pressured me into anything, as a matter of fact he had asked if I was ready. I said I was ready to “try”.

I am so ready for my life back!! I am ready to find me.I talked to my therapist about it today and she said it is a journey and I do not need to try to rush it. I suppose in a healing journey you need baby steps not giant strides. I am making progress inch by inch.

Facebook Community

I am not sure why I did it because I all but swore away from my “real” Facebook page, but today I started a Facebook community. There are several people I have met through blogging that I enjoying enteracting with, and unless they blog that day and I can comment, there really is not a way to chat. I guess that is the nice thing about blogging, but the sad thing too.

If you want to find “me” on FB I am Hope Noel with Curious George as my profile. I do not really post that much, but the community that I started today is: https://www.facebook.com/ReclaimingMyNarnia. I hope to chat in the community.

I created an alias for myself to use on Facebook for this, you can use your real or an alias, whatever you are comfortable with. Come on over, I would love to have you.

Daily Post: Strength, Love, Courage, Faith, and Hope

Today’s prompt was about artists. If you read my last post you saw a beautiful painting by Simon Dewey that offers me a great strength and hope.

The artwork I am about to share brings me great courage strength and hope also. I look at it often. It was created just for me when I was going through my trials being diagnosed uterine cancer. That amazing friend Bec you hear so much about created it for me and my support team.

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The words: Strength, Love, Courage, Faith, and Hope. Those words mean so much to me these days as I struggle more than ever with anxiety and depression. I truly thought cancer would be one of the most difficult things I faced. Cancer was a breeze to me. I was able to keep a pretty positive attitude through it. Bec, had no idea, how much I would lean on this art and the words the rest of my life. This is my most treasured piece of art.

The last picture I want to show is one from earlier today from my walk to Narnia. As I mentioned I could not find the wisteria, but I found these tiny flowers. They are so pretty. I think it was appropriate that I needed to look for them, it kept me engaged in the now.

I debated whether or not to post the image because I want to hide behind “Hope” but there are dual purposes for sharing. One to share the art that I love so much, and two to let “Little Shanna” have her day that I show our real name. I will continue to go by Hope on the blog. That is what I am comfortable with. But I am giving her a voice for a moment, to say our name is Shanna.

Flowers of Narnia 6-27

 

One Small Step for Man, A Giant Leap for Hope

Today I walked around taking pictures. I kept getting closer and closer to my parents backyard. Yesterday in therapy we taked about wisteria, and its beautiful purple blooms. I knew some were in the backyard, the entrance to my Narnia.

I would start that way, and then change my mind and go a different dirrection. Take pictures for a while in that location and venture back to the side yard. Each time, just a step or two closer. My Daddy is inside the house I told myself. The yard has changed completely since “that time.” So have I.

I looked at the camera in my hand, and felt the weight of it. I felt the sweat rolling down my back and on my face. The air is heavy with humidity. The sun is hot on my black plants and not quite as hot on my gray shirt. My nose all snuffy because I am outside and my allergies are giving me a fits. I am very thirsty, because I have been outside a while in the heat. I hear birds chirping, squirrels jumping from tree to tree, cars passing by on the highway, and hear Roscoe and Enos wanting to come walk with me.

Each of my senses are engaged in the now. One more step and another and another and another. I am there. Looking at Narnia. My fist begins to clinch, but I am still in contol. I look for things to take pictures of. The wisteria that Mother photographed the other day is no longer in bloom. I found a couple of other beauties. More than the images on film was the accomplishment of conquering the fear today.

Will it be back tomorrow? Who knows, but today I stood at the gates of my Narnia as a Warrior and Returning Queen.

Blocking Out Negativity With Music

My husband is watching a tv show that has a good bit of swearing in it. Swearing is one of those things that bothers me. Ironically, I have found myself saying a word or two since I have been going through these most difficult days. I do not like that. That is one of the reasons I put on my headphones and started listening to uplifting music and watching uplifting videos. I do not want negative words to be the first things that pop into my mind when I get angry, and if I put a filter on my mind it seems it is easier to control my mouth. Go figure.

Ironically, the first song I listened to tonight on the LDS Radio was a saddness trigger for me. I am not sure why except that maybe I sang it around the time I was abused. It used to be one of my favorite songs. It is still a beautiful song, just makes me alittle weepy.

Right after that song came on, I was comforted by this beautiful song. I thought about the things I have been taking photos of lately, and the love Heavenly Father has for them, and how it does not compare with the love He has for me.

Then I started searching Youtube. These next three videos are songs that touched my heart.

The first one made me want to sob. I want to put it on my Iphone, and when I cry put it on repeat, for when others ask questions vocally or with their eyes.

These next two are basically my testimony of Jesus Christ put to music.